Maybe you are up to your eyeballs in holiday debt or just looking to save more money in the new year. Creating new financial habits in 2022 will help you this year and beyond wherever you are.
Like most things we do every day, the way we spend our money usually comes from habit. Consider everything you do in your daily life: from brushing your teeth to exercise, practicing these habits regularly helps us stay on track. The same is true for your finances. To have better control over your money, you need to practice healthy financial habits.
Set realistic financial goals.
If you have $30,000 in debt and make $40,000 a year, having a goal to pay off your debt in one year is not realistic. However, you could establish a goal to consolidate your debt with a low-interest credit card to avoid paying a large amount of additional interest on your debt.
Also, review your budget to see how much money you can allocate toward your debt payment per month. Think about what you can afford. If you have trouble coming up with that number, read through some of our budgeting tips or learn how to set financial goals.
Create an honest budget and make positive changes to it.
What do we mean by an “honest budget?” An honest budget is a list of your expenses separated into wants and needs. Your “wants” are luxuries that you can almost always cut out altogether or drastically reduce to help your finances. Your “needs” such as housing, transportation, utilities, and food can usually be cut down as well.
How can you cut your spending to meet your needs? You may be able to move to a more reasonably priced home or refinance your mortgage to have a lower monthly payment. What about your utilities? Shop around for your electricity, internet or phone provider. And your groceries? Save money by purchasing canned goods in bulk or shopping at discount stores.
Review your spending every month.
Most of us know what we can cut from our “wants” list easily and quickly. While making a budget helps us with that, so does reviewing our monthly spending. Everyone loves fancy coffee now and again. Maybe your goal is only to have a few per month (rather than a few per week). Reviewing your monthly spending helps ensure you are staying on track. If you are not, add up the dollars you overspent, and work on saving for the next month.
Give yourself 48 hours before making a purchase.
Shopping either in person or online can cause your debt to add up quickly. Why? Because a lot of us are impulse buyers. We do not need it, but we want it—so it goes in the shopping cart.
If you go to the store for a specific item, only purchase that particular item without adding anything extra to your cart. Put any unnecessary items back on the shelf. Give yourself two days to think about the items you wanted to purchase. Nine times out of ten, you will realize that they weren’t necessities. Figure out what you would have spent on them and use that money to help pay down debt or increase your savings account instead.
Get rewarded for purchases that you have to make.
From 1.5% back on all purchases to 2% back on groceries, we have Visa cards that reward you when you spend. We are not advocating that you start spending non-stop; instead, save on the purchases you need to make.
Download a PDF of our five money habits to create in 2022.
If you would like help with your budgeting, savings or spending, reach out to one of the friendly associates in our faM1ly. We would be happy to help you take control of your finances!